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FAQs - The IDABC Most Frequently Asked Questions

Last update: August 2009


What is IDABC?
When did IDABC start and how has it evolved?
How does IDABC work? 
Who can benefit from the IDABC Programme?
   

 


What is IDABC?


IDABC
, which stands for Interoperable Delivery of European eGovernment Services to public Administrations, Business and Citizens, is a Community Programme managed by the European Commission's Directorate - General for Informatics.

The objective of the IDABC programme is to identify, promote and support:

(1) the development and establishment of European eGovernment services;

(2) the underlying interoperable telematic networks supporting the European Member States and the European Community in the implementation of their respective policies and activities, achieving substantial benefits for public administrations, businesses and citizens.

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When did IDABC start and how has it evolved?


IDABC was established with the Community decision of 21 April 2004 and launched in January 2005 to ensure the follow-up and the update of the former Interchange of Data between Administrations (IDA) Programmes, IDA I (1995-1998) and IDA II (1999-2004).

The IDA Programme has constantly evolved in line with the changing political priorities of the EU. The past two phases (IDA I and II) were focused on ‘networks’: use of IT in public administrations and facilitation of transition from paper-based to electronic exchanges across Europe during the first phase; measures and services to be applied and used to ensure seamless interaction within and across networks at the trans-European level during the second phase.

Within the context of the eEurope Action Plans and associated eGovernment initiatives, the IDA Programme has gradually profiled itself as an eGovernment programme. This trend has been enshrined in the current IDABC program, which focuses on putting the results of the European administrative networks to the service of European citizens and businesses.

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How does IDABC work?

IDABC works through the implementation of Projects of Common Interest (PCIs), which focus on the use of IT solutions for specific sectors, and Horizontal Measures (HMs), which cover cross-sector networks, services and tools.

The IDABC Programme is managed by the Directorate General for Informatics, working in close cooperation with the Member States and the different European Commission’s services concerned.

PCIs are run under the primary responsibility of the relevant policy or administrative sector. They start with a preparatory phase and are followed by a feasibility study. The feasibility phase results in a Global Implementation Plan (GIP) which presents the aims and describes the approach that should be followed. Once a GIP has been approved both by the relevant sectoral committee and the Member States, the projects can be fully developed and implemented.


HMs are run mainly under the responsibility of the IDABC Unit. They are defined on the basis of proposals made by Member States' Administrations through their representative or by other Commission services. Once the projects have been achieved, they are available to Member States' Administrations and other IDABC networks.

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Who can benefit from the IDABC Programme?


The primary beneficiaries of the IDABC Programme are public administrations, in particular national authorities and European institutions.
By providing expertise - a forum for information exchange and funding for IT solutions - IDABC helps the administrations improve the efficiency of their existing networks. IDABC also offers generic services, common tools and guidelines that facilitate interoperability across European borders. A number of these tools and services such as CIRCABC, IPM, the IDABC Architecture Guidelines and the European Interoperability Framework are also made available for use by regional and local authorities.

Citizens and enterprises are also benefiting from the various IDABC projects, either by using directly some of the IDABC networks, e.g. Ploteus, Solvit, or by enjoying more open and efficient public services. The PLOTEUS Portal, for example, provides a single access point to all sites on learning opportunities across Europe. Furthermore, it gives practical information on taxation, cost of living, recognition of diplomas, and other aspects of living in a foreign country. Citizens and businesses can also refer to SOLVIT, an Alternative Dispute Resolution Mechanism, to help them assert their internal market rights and tackle issues rapidly and pragmatically without having to resort to legal action.

In addition, since the IDABC programme carries out its projects on the basis of market-available solutions, IT and service providers can benefit directly from the Programme by participating in the open calls for tenders.

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